What is OCD? (Complete Guide On Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
by Mayur Chandpara, Last updated on February 3rd, 2019,
Have you heard of OCD and want to know about it? what exactly is “OCD” and why many people state that he/she is affected by OCD?
Theirs a thin separation between self-care and OCD. That narrow gap is between habit and restlessness. People sometimes criticise OCD in a pretty wrong way.
I don’t know why people do not take time to think before saying that they are OCD affected. Not every good habit shows that you are OCD affected guys. Do not name your good habits the name of OCD.
There are following topics covered in this post:
- What does OCD stand for and what does it mean?
- How it feels like having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
- OCD Symptoms
- Causes of OCD
- OCD Test
- OCD Examples
- Types of OCD’s
- OCD Treatment
What does OCD Stand For and What does it mean?
OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental disorder, in such disorder, people get excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviours (compulsions).
Such as keeping everything organized every time you use them or you see a slight change. Else having a feeling of insecurity at every possible place.
The insecurity can go like checking the door, gas, threats or people again & again even though you know that you have checked and took the steps.
How it feels like having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
The feeling of OCD is just CRazY, the person becomes restless and struggles with his/her own thoughts.
A person with this disorder even feels scared as they sometimes do things which they don’t know that they are doing it. Like they scrub their head so hard that they bleed off and they don’t know that they are doing it.
They can’t control their feeling of rechecking even though they know it. People can’t bear any small defect or any difference in any pattern. People are over-aware for they cleaning too.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Symptoms:
There are many Symptoms of OCD. But will go through as many and as brief we can.
Here’s the deal:
Note: Please do not match the symptoms so deeply that you may feel having OCD as some symptoms may be common issues. But the symptoms should be much repetitive and uncontrollable then and then you should conclude.
Here’s some of them:
- Fear of contaminated by germs, dirt or something else.
- Fear to lose control and harming self or others.
- Unwelcome sexually explicit or violent thoughts & images.
- Excessive Focuses on Religious or moral ideas.
- Fear of losing or not getting things that you might need.
- Having an Idea of “Everything should be lined up”. Order & Symmetry.
- Extremely focused on lucky or unlucky. Superstitious.
- Extremely, double checking of doors, switches, locks & appliances.
- Doing the senseless activity to lose anxiety. Counting, tapping or repeating certain words.
- Washing and cleaning more often than usual.
- Ordering things or arranging in asymmetry just for the sake.
- Extremely engaged in rituals activity due to religious fear.
- Collecting junk like old newspapers and empty containers without any use.
- Feeling of anxiety, disgust or unease due to thoughts.
Causes of OCD:
There are not any exact causes of OCD, but might be caused due to different factors and conditions
Which may include:
- Genetically passed on from the family history.
- Sometimes some have a difference in the brain activities, some parts have high and some part have low activities.
- Sometimes due to a low level of serotonin named chemical.
- Life also plays an important role, as someone who had always experienced neglection, negative feedbacks, bullying & abuse.
- Sometimes a big life event could trigger something like childbirth or bereavement(Event of the death of loved ones).
- Personality also plays an important role, people with neat, meticulous with high personal standards may be more likely to develop OCD. Also, people who are more anxious or felt more responsible to themselves and others also have chances to develop OCD.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Test:
Sometimes people try to relate the symptoms stated above with them. But as I told you earlier that these thoughts will give you much stress and uncomfortable feeling.
And if you’re not having that stress through your thoughts or habits then you are not affected. But getting continuous excessive thoughts in your mind, & you know that you are thinking worthless still can’t control it.
There are few questions that would help you figure out your query: (Try answering and you would figure out)
Have you been bothered by unpleasant thoughts or images that repeatedly enter your mind, such as…
1. concerns with contamination (dirt, germs, chemicals, radiation) or acquiring a serious illness such as AIDS?
2. overconcern with keeping objects (clothing, groceries, tools) in perfect order or arranged exactly?
3. images of death or other horrible events?
4. personally unacceptable religious or sexual thoughts?
Have you worried a lot about terrible things happening, such as…
5. fire, burglary, or flooding the house?
6. accidentally hitting a pedestrian with your car, or letting your call roll down the hill?
7. spreading an illness (such as giving someone the flu)?
8. losing something valuable?
9. harm coming to a loved one because you weren’t careful enough?
10. Have you worried about acting on an unwanted and senseless urge or impulse, such as physically harming a loved one, pushing a stranger in front of a bus, steering your car into oncoming traffic; inappropriate sexual contact; or poisoning dinner guests?
Have you felt driven to perform certain acts over and over again, such as…
11. excessive or ritualized washing, cleaning, or grooming?
12. checking light switches, water faucets, the stove, door locks, or emergency brake?
13. counting; arranging; evening-up behaviours (making sure socks are at the same height)?
14. collecting useless objects or inspecting the garbage before it is thrown out?
15. repeating routine actions (in/out of a chair, going through a doorway, re-lighting cigarette) a certain number of times or until it feels just right?
16. need to touch objects or people?
17. unnecessary re-reading or re-writing; re-opening envelopes before they are mailed?
18. examining your body for signs of illness?
19. avoiding colours (“red” means blood), numbers (“l 3” is unlucky), or names (those that start with “D” signify death) that are associated with dreaded events or unpleasant thoughts?
20. needing to “confess” or repeatedly asking for reassurance that you said or did something correctly?
So let’s see on some of the examples that can explain the Disorder:
- So look at the image above. There’s a slight pattern change, means wrong order and wrong symmetry. And that’s enough to get the patient under stress. Even though he/she knows that this is just an image still they will be finding a way to fix that.
- The second example would be the disorder itself, They will try to make it CDO, even it should be OCD because they want that to be arranged in alphabetic order.
- When opening a chocolate box with a sticker on top. If a small amount of wrapper is left and that even on the edge, the person would feel that the box is not open. (This is on the video playlist in the how it feels to have OCD section)
- Before going to bed, they’ll need to check doors and windows to be safe, And that’s only for 22 times around. and that’s just to be sure that if he had locked it properly.
- Before having lunch or after returning home, They’ll be washing hand repeatedly and so scrubby that they blend their hands dry.
Types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD):
There are many types of OCD & can be classified into different categories due to different triggers:
- Checking – the need to check is the compulsion, the obsessive fear might be to prevent damage, fire, leaks or harm.
- Contamination – the need to clean and wash is the compulsion, the obsessive fear is that something is contaminated and/or may cause illness, and ultimately death, to a loved one or oneself.
- Mental Contamination – Same as 2 try to wash away dirt by washing or showering.
- Hoarding – fear that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They collect things they don’t need or use.
- Ruminations – they’ll dwell on the time-consuming question.
- Intrusive Thoughts – Afraid that they’ll lose control and could harm themselves or others.
- Relationship Intrusive Thoughts – Afraid to lose their loved ones.
- Body-focused obsessions (Sensorimotor OCD) – They’re hyper-awareness of swallowing, breathing, or blinking.
- Sexual Intrusive Thoughts – Afraid of unexpected sexual thoughts.
- Magical Thinking Intrusive Thoughts – Afraid of something will happen and they’ll get punished.
- Religious Intrusive Thoughts – they deeply focused on religious activities and afraid of religion.
- Violent Intrusive Thoughts – they have unwelcomed violent thoughts of being harmed by themselves.
- Symmetry and Orderliness – they want everything in order and symmetry.
- Avoidance – Afraid to be avoided.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treatment
Look: We can divide the treatment mainly into two types:
1) The medication (Or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) ):
Until today there is no exact clue of how this disorder takes into a human’s brain. So no exact medicine is available but ongoing research will soon come up with the curing drug.
Till then Medical facilities prescribe antidepressant drugs with Serotonin chemical to not let the patient suffer more from Anxiety. Also, read on how to eliminate Anxiety through mindfulness meditation. Also, OCD sufferers can release their thoughts which are continuous through meditation.
Few side effects of SSRIs:
- Feeling agitated, anxious or shaky.
- Feeling/Being sick
- Diarrhea or Constipation
- Sleeping Problems (insomnia)
- Low Sex Drive
There’s also a little chance that SSRIs could cause you to have suicidal thoughts or want to harm yourself. Contact your GP or go to your nearest Accident & Emergency (A&E) department if happens.
Most side effects improve after a few weeks as your body gets used to the medication, although some can persist.
2) The psychological therapy (Or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with exposure and response prevention (ERP) ):
This therapy is based on a concept that “Your thoughts, feelings, actions and physical sensations are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle.”
So in this therapy helps you to deal with huge problems in a more positive way by breaking into smaller parts. You are taught how to change the negative patterns to improve what you feel.
For example, If you have a hand washing compulsive then you are taken to a public washroom and told to touch the handle. And after that, you are told to sit and let your anxiety come. So the anxiety will remove the compulsive slowly. So, this makes you know that you control obsession still and you don’t need to compulsive your obsession.
Studies show that exposure and response prevention can actually “retrain” the brain, permanently reducing the occurrence of OCD symptoms.
The following treatments are also used for OCD:
- Family Therapy – Sometimes OCD often causes problems in family life and social adjustment, so family therapy is often advised. Family therapy promotes understanding of the disorder and can help reduce family conflicts. It can also motivate family members and teach them how to help their loved one.
- Group Therapy – Group Therapy is another helpful obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment. Through interaction with fellow OCD sufferers, group therapy provides support and encouragement and decreases feelings of isolation.
Do not get panic and help yourself control your thoughts over OCD:
As per my point of view, it is very difficult to control over your thoughts in this situation but still, there is a chance to stop hurting ourselves…
We are our own commanders, we can choose what to think and what to do with that thought.
Trying daily can help you get away from your compulsion. Start slowly, get to know your thoughts but do not react to them.
Try focusing on a particular task or object and talk on that describe its beauty, texture or other details which you can see.
Later, try to concentrate on your breathing patterns and feel relaxed. This will surely help you to control your thoughts.
Everyone should have extra time for meditation, it provides the mindfulness and peace which our mind finds in our daily busy schedule.